A Comprehensive Guide to SAI Scholarships


May 11, 2023
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Are you planning to study abroad in Italy, Spain, or France? You may be considering traveling through SAI Programs. Of course, studying abroad is expensive — but you shouldn’t have to give up the opportunity of a lifetime. Fortunately, prospective students can apply for various SAI scholarships to offset the costs.

If you’re interested in pursuing your international education through SAI or are currently enrolled in one of its programs, this guide will help you navigate its scholarships and application process.

What Are SAI Programs?

Founded in 1995, SAI has become renowned for providing study-abroad students with stellar academic and cultural opportunities at some of the finest universities in Europe. Its programs send students to Barcelona, Paris, and seven cities in Italy — including Sicily, Milan and Rome.

Students also have the chance to embark on a multi-city adventure at two SAI destinations — all universities are English-speaking institutions to accommodate diverse learners. 

Those who participate in SAI Programs reap the benefits of challenging coursework that piques their curiosity for learning, one-on-one guidance from pre-departure to their return home, cultural immersion, and keen attention to safety in a new and unfamiliar place.

Available SAI Scholarships

SAI knows that studying abroad can financially stress students and their families — the average semester cost is $18,000, or $36,000 for the entire year. However, the organization seeks to allow students of all backgrounds to explore the world by offering various scholarships. 

Since its founding, SAI has provided over $2 million in financial aid to students, funded by several donors, including host schools, the International Education Foundation, and SAI. Students may need to fulfill volunteer work, internships, or other professional projects while studying internationally to receive their award.

Some of the scholarships offered through SAI Programs include the following:

  • JLC Trust Semester Scholarship: Six awards ranging from $500 to $3,000 are available for undergraduate students enrolled in any of SAI’s programs — students must send in monthly social media posts during their travels.
  • Non-U.S. Student Semester Scholarship: Two $1,000 to $2,000 awards are available for students who live outside the United States — like the previous scholarship, students must submit monthly social media posts.
  • JLC Trust Semester First-Generation Scholarship: One undergraduate student may receive a $300 award if they’re a first-generation college student.
  • JLC Trust Semester Diversity Scholarship: One $1,000 award is available for underrepresented students, including racial minorities, students with disabilities, U.S. veterans or those who identify as LGBTQIA+.

Many SAI-affiliated host universities offer scholarships, too. For instance, Florence University of the Arts (FUA) provides one $5,000 award to a student that participates in a five-hour-per-week internship in the SAI office at the school. 

Sant’Anna Institute also awards one junior or senior graphic design student a $2,000 award if they submit a sample of their work and fulfill five hours of professional design work for the school during their stay. 

You can find additional SAI scholarships by visiting the website. 

Eligibility Requirements

Any student enrolled full-time in an SAI program — which must include boarding — can apply for SAI scholarships. However, students must submit certain documents for consideration:

  • SAI application
  • Supplemental documents, such as official transcripts, personal statements, and application fee
  • Letter of recommendation from a professor or advisor
  • Signed agreement to the SAI Code of Conduct
  • Proof of current attendance at a U.S. high educational institution — international students are, of course, exempted from this requirement

All students must submit a 500-word essay explaining who they are and why the committee should select them for the award. The earlier you start writing your personal statement, the better. Just give yourself 24 hours between writing and revising — you’ll go into your revision with a fresh perspective and catch more mistakes.

Students must also submit an updated resume and, if applicable, their most recent FAFSA Student Aid Report summarizing their financial aid eligibility.

How to Apply for SAI Scholarships

The organization accepts applications for SAI scholarships through an online submission form on the SAI website. There, students can fill out the online application and attach the required supplemental documents. They can also send a letter of recommendation and their personal essay, resume, and FAFSA Student Aid Report the same way.

Students must submit their SAI scholarship applications by June 1 for the Fall semester, October 15 for the Spring semester, and March 15 for the Summer semester.

The Selection Process

Unfortunately, SAI can only award a handful of scholarships to its student participants each semester. Therefore, the selection process can be rigorous. 

SAI takes financial needs and academic merit into consideration when selecting winners. However, students have more opportunities to win an award since SAI doesn’t require them to specify a scholarship they want to apply for — they get considered for all of them. The committee will then decide whether you’re a good fit for one of the awards.

One of the most challenging things about submitting applications is waiting for a response. Thankfully, students won’t have to wait very long — SAI responds to students about the scholarship applications 15 days after the deadline. The scholarship then gets deducted from your last payment for the program.

Why Should You Study Abroad?

Understandably, the financial aspect of studying abroad can take time to wrap your head around. A scholarship can be beneficial to offset some of the cost. It’s worth applying for SAI scholarships so you can enjoy one of the best experiences of your life.

Students who study abroad gain the following benefits:

  • Explore your host nation
  • Cultivate a new global perspective
  • Meet new people and learn about another culture
  • Visit some of the world’s most beautiful landmarks and attractions
  • Refine your language skills
  • Open yourself up to more career opportunities after college
  • Foster independence

Many students come home as different people after studying in another country. You, too, could reap the rewards. 

Study Abroad Affordably With an SAI Scholarship

SAI delivers some of the best academic and cultural experiences for study-abroad students. Don’t miss out on a fantastic opportunity to see the world because it’s too expensive. Applying for SAI scholarships can make your international adventure more affordable.

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